Friday, 26 August 2016

SPOONIE: My travel anxiety is getting worse.

I feel like I have been hiding something the last couple of weeks. Its been festering inside of me and I have been hoping it will go away, and it hasn't and I need to write it down before It takes over my entire life. 

My travel anxiety seems to have become a million times worse.

I have mentioned on the blog before that a lot of it is linked to my IBS. Once I am on a bus I worry about needing the toilet urgently. However it is all a bit of a vicous cycle. The more I worry about needing the toilet, the more anxious I get, the more anxious I get the more likely I am to need the toilet (fight or flight response and all that). So the conclusion is I have been avoiding routes I don't know. I haven't been to a couple of towns I love to go charity shopping in for ages because I am scared of the bus route and scared that I don't know where toilets are when I get there. 

I didn't go to a couple of events I was invited to recently because the worry of this had me throwing up all night the night before. 

Its got to the point when even my 15 minute bus journey to work has left me having almighty panic attacks while I am waiting for the bus (not that youd know it from looking at me, I just feel my heart racing and feel like theres a bead of sweat from every alst inch of my body) 

I have to tackle this because at the moment it is making my miserable. I feel like I go to work, sleep and go out in the car with Tom ... although even that has been causing me issues lately!

If anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated. 

Do you know I have a fashion blog? Read it here 

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

KNOW YOUR NORMAL: Smear Tests aka Cervical Screening Test

Smear Tests.

They are one of those routine things that people get scared about. The rumour mill goes rife about how much they hurt or people just don't talk at all. My mom never really spoke to me about smear tests. We have a close relationship but I think I am a lot more open to talk about things than she is. When I had my first one at 19 I was in hospital with horrendous stomach pains and they suspected it could be cancer related.

I actually remember every detail of it. The female doctor came to talk to me about it (behind the curtains in a ward ... so private) and I remember asking her if I needed to take my tampon out. Looking back I feel like that was a stupid question! But at the time I remember all I could think was that I had cancer. I remember being petrified by that thought and crying myself to sleep that night.

My second smear was actually a lot more relaxed. Just before my 25th birthday I received a letter asking me to book my test so I rang up and booked it just like that. When I got there I was called in to see a midwife who performs tests at my local surgery. She left me behind the curtain and asked me to strip from the waist down and lie on my back on the bench. Although I was covered by the curtain she also locked the door so no one could walk in unannounced.

I wore a dress and would suggest this too as it was easy to just pop my knickers off and I was ready. She then insterted a lubricated speculum inside of me, which isn't overly huge! I would say if you have had sex this bit shouldn't be too much of a shock, its just slightly cold and hard!

I have whats known as a retroverted uterus which means that it is tipped back - this is quite common though with 1 in 5 women having one - and it doesn't mean anything bad its just how it sits! It did however mean that she had to fiddle around a little to find my cervix!

Once found using a soft brush which felt a little like I imagine a mascara wand would she took the swabs, and then popped out the speculum passed me some tissue and it was all over. Around a week later I got a letter saying that everything is all clear.

So that's me done for another three years.

What I wanted to show is just how important these are. Cancer is a killer and honestly what is worse ... one doctor or midwife seeing your vagina for a couple of minutes performing a smear or multiple doctors, nurses and specialists seeing and operating on your vagina and possibly other parts of your body if you develop cervical cancer?

If you have any questions please feel free to ask!

Do you know I have a fashion blog? Read it here 

Monday, 22 August 2016

FOODIE: Breakfast at Delilah Leicester

After being invited to the Launch night at Delilah the other week I was really keen to get Tom to visit with me and sample their menu. So we decided to go for breakfast to get me fuelled before the East Mids Meet Up.

Choosing what to have was the hardest part. The extensive menu is filled with items from the deli and so whatever you choose you are bound to have made a good choice - no envy from your companions! There is something for everyone from their chunky toast, homemade granola to rarebit and French toast. As its all cooked fresh as well its really easy for someone like me with multiple food intolerances to find something I could eat!

I decided to have a Luscombe Sicilian lemonade which was beautifully refreshing, while Tom chose from their coffee menu ... which currently has 38 different blends on it!! In the end I have no idea which coffee he actually chose but I had a sip and it was the most beautiful coffee I have ever tasted!

Anyway! Onto the main attraction, the food!! Tom went for the Delilah Gourmet Breakfast ... which comes with boston sausage, Italian pancetta, mushrooms, tomatoes, toast, egg ... and then he added haggis as an extra!! I only got to try the pancetta but that was beautiful.

I on the other hand went for a doorstop sandwich ... ordering slightly off menu asking for avocado instead of tomato but the staff were more than accommodating to this! The bread was so soft and the bacon was possibly the nicest I have ever tasted.

Coming in at just over £20 for the two of us, its not the cheapest breakfast we have ever been for but I was more than willing to pay that for such high quality ingredients. The staff were extremely friendly and we were able to have a browse of the deli after we had finished. We will definitely be visiting again!

Do you know I have a fashion blog? Read it here 

Sunday, 21 August 2016

BLOG LOVE: Sunday Round Up One.

Last Saturday when I was at the east midlands blogger meet I realised that my favourite thing about this blog is the fact it has lead me to meet some other amazing bloggers. Recently the community, myself included, seem to have become wrapped up in ourselves. Its not always a bad thing but when the emphasis has shifted to getting the nicest photos, the freshest posts and the fastest turnaround on posts. There's always someone else we are trying to impress and we have forgotton about the community aspect. Last weekend changed all that in my head when I met this large group of girls and barely took any photos. I wasn't thinking about the blog and I wasn't thinking about the lighting or the DA. I was just enjoying myself being surrounded by all these other creatives.

So is there a point in this? Yes. Inspired by Becky Bedbug I want to share some of my favourite blog posts each week from other girls (and boys if I spot any!) and I encourage others to do the same. Lets show everyone which posts we have been reading and loving. Lets retweet people more. Lets leave more comments and lets just spread the love a little more.

What blog posts have I been loving?

My gorgeous friend Becky wrote a post about how she felt that she had screwed up by forgetting that her blog was a hobby. I felt I could totally relate to the post because I know towards the end of last year I became obsessed with trying to squeeze this blog into a niche and work with brands. I soon realised that I wanted this blog to be about anything and everything and I am so much happier now that I am doing that (and I have more regular readers so its all gravy)

My other lovely friend Rebecca wrote a post about why she is a feminist and it hit the nail on the head with so many important issues. She talks about the fact that worldwide things we take for granted in the UK such as not having our genitals mutilated and being legally able to have abortions, are things that girls worldwide face issues with. I love that her blog talks about these issues and more, I need to take a leaf from her book on this!!

Saira from through the glitter glass wrote a post about why shes looking forward to autumn and it got me full of all the feels! Bring on the hot chocolate (If anyone knows a good dairy free one I would love to know!) I am looking forward to autumn so much, cosy clothes are my favourite and I cant wait to cuddle up with a good book!! 

What have you guys been loving this week?

Do you know I have a fashion blog? Read it here 

Thursday, 18 August 2016

LIFE: Planning with my TOAD Diary*

When I heard TOAD diaries were going to be at the Blogger Tiki Party I was really excited. While most of my life is online now I still feel the need to have a diary. I have tried a few, but have found that they don't quite fit with exactly what I need. I loved my personal planner I had last year but found there wasn't enough notes space for me just to just scribble! I also really loved my stick to stigu diary, the idea behind it was lovely but again just not enough space.

So when TOAD let me customise my own diary I jumped at the chance! TOAD stands for today or any day, as you can chose which day your diary starts. This is fantastic as I wanted mine to start in august and most diaries either start January or September. You could go for hardback or wiro bound and I chose the wiro because I find my bag too heavy already! I spent ages deciding between the London city scape design and the one above (and now I am gutted I didn't get the London one and am thinking about purchasing something else with that cover .... haha) but when it came down to it the words limited edition won me over!

I chose to have mine as a sort of normal diary, bullet journal mash up. I know your not a proper blogger these days unless you have a bullet journal but I just do not have the time to sit and write one! I like it for the flexibility and being able to tracks things though. So on the left page of my diary is the standard dates where I write what I'm doing what's going on and then on the right I can have my to do lists and goals trackers.

I have just been having a little stalk of their website and they have so much to offer! You can literally customise your diary in hundreds of ways. If you are interested I think you should go over to TOAD right now ... I may have my eye on some notebooks :)

Do you know I have a fashion blog? Read it here 

The Diary was kindly gifted to me by the lovely people at TOAD diaries but all opinions are completely my own.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

KNOW YOUR NORMAL: Whats it all about?

I'm not sure how many of you know this but I am passionate about health, and especially about how prevention is better than cure. From working in the NHS and in a wide range of settings one thing that always stands out is that many people appear at the GP or the hospital when something has gotten so bad that they can't be treated. When the diabetes has gotten so bad that they have to have things amputated, or their lump has gotten so big that they can't ignore it. The stark fact of the matter is that I have met a lot of patients that say "I wish I had have gone to the doctor sooner"

So when I heard about Know Your Normal I knew I had to get involved! Firstly you have to go and follow them on twitter here. Working with charities coppa feel and count the kicks, and also alongside brands such as pink parcel there aim is to empower women. As they say we are constantly hit over the head with information about what is and isn't normal, but actually knowing what is normal for you is so important.

Did you know not everyone with breast cancer gets a lump?

Not everyone has periods on certain contraception?

That knowing your own pattern of bowel movements is important?

I am going to be exploring this over the next few weeks, and hopefully helping to get a conversation started. Too often I think we google. For example, I used to have very heavy periods all of a sudden. I googled it and someone told me they had heavy periods and that was normal. It turned out I actually had a rather large ovarian cyst which I had removed. It is so important to encourage people to know what is normal for them.

Next week I am going to be talking all things smear tests!

Do you know I have a fashion blog? Read it here 

Monday, 15 August 2016

EVENTS: The East Midlands Meet Up

I have to been to a fair few blogging events in the last year, and after the events at the last one I attended I was unsure if I wanted to keep attending. The event itself was great, but I write about the ugly side of blogging that was exposed there and other bloggers came out in force to agree that there was a huge group giving us bloggers a bad name.Most of us are here to make friends and share our passion for the industry. I had decided that after the events I had already committed to I would probably have a break ... that was until I went to this event.

I met a group of lovely bloggers at BRU before the event and we go on like an absolute house on fire. We chatted about a range of topics and it was lovely to meet new faces and also get to see some of the lovely girls I have met before again. After plenty of bronkies and and some mojito refreshers we headed down to the event.

I was so nervous about the ice breaker actually, but I shouldn't have been. Everyone was so friendly and I feel like I managed to talk to most people in the room! I spoke to the ladies from Danique hairdressing and also the ladies behind Angel Eyes lash extensions (which I didnt get done personally but my friend Tiff did and they looked so good I wish I had have done!!) 

I bought myself some raffle tickets (and managed to win nothing but it was in aid of Bowel Cancer Uk and also Rainbows hospice so Im not too annoyed) and then we had a couple of great talks.


First up was Gabby from Cool As Publicity who spoke to us about working with PRs. I have to admit I am not an expert when it comes to this but have been lucky enough to be invited to their events before and I always feel so lucky! I am going to try my hardest to approach some more PRs with the advice she gave.

I also spent a lot of time talking to the lovely ladies from Blogosphere magazine. If you havent heard have blogosphere magazine have you been living under a rock? I had heard about the magazine before but fell in love with it when I bought my issue with Lily Pebbles on the front. Written by bloggers and for bloggers its basically the guide to everything you need to know in the blogosphere and I am currently trying to get my hands on the back issues! The two ladies were the absolute loveliest I have ever spoken to. In the past I have spoken to people who seem to disregard me because my blog is small, but not these ladies! We spoke for ages and they really inspired me in so many ways. 

I genuinely had the best day. Despite the pain I was in the girls all looked after me! Thankyou so much to Kirstie, Emma, Lianne and Kirsty for organising such a fabulous event! The day was amazing and the goodie bag is so me you couldn't have done it better (oh and I dont care what ANYONE says, the carex love hearts is hands down my favourite thing) I can't wait to see you all again soon and thankyou to everyone who came - you have restored my faith in the community and made me want to continue! 

Do you know I have a fashion blog? Read it here